So you may have heard that yesterday i09 revealed that James Marsters himself will be writing a Spike graphic novel for Dark Horse comics called Spike: Into the Light! We caught up with Dark Horse Editor-In-Chief (aka El Hefe) Scott Allie to grill him on this seemingly unforeseen chain of events! Check it out below:
Buffyfest: So Spike: Into the Light. There seems to be some confusion about when this story takes place. Is it between seasons 6 & 7 of Buffy? Right after Spike endures the trials that gave him his soul? Or is it more *during* season 7 of Buffy?
Scott Allie: It's during Season 7.
BF: He was pretty crazy at that time, will that be reflected in the story?
SA: This is a little bit later when his shit had chilled out a bit.
BF: Heh! And regarding the story, was it based off Joss's idea for the TV movie? Because that was to take place after the series ended.
SA: No, this was all James's idea. It's a story that I think he's been kicking around for a long time. The reason I wanted to do it was simple. We were backstage at some event at San Diego, and he started telling me the story. And he's the kind of actor who's a natural storyteller—not all of them are. So he just rattled this thing off in a very fun way, the way you'd tell one of your favorite misadventures to a friend over a barstool. It just rolled, and I loved it right away. It's a small story, it's not a big turning point for the character. It's a fun story where a few diverse elements come together to tell the sort of story I think we've sort of lost, something real human and personal, where the fate of the world doesn't hang in the balance. But as he told me the story he was so much inside it, so connected to what it was about and how it connected to Spike on a simple level, that I really wanted to have that comic in my hand. I ran it by Joss and he was cool with it, so off we went.
BF: Speaking of, we all know that Mr. Whedon is totally swamped right now, but how much involvement did he have with this approval process? Has he read the story?
SA: We sent him the script and he said we could do it, but he hasn't really contributed or chimed in specifically, so it won't bare his name as exec producer. I told him the story in a nutshell, I think he had heard it from James before, and he gave it his blessing, but that's the extent of it.
BF: And how about your role as editor, did you find yourself having to edit the story to fit within the season 10 storyline? Or is it not tied together with the current events?
SA: James was great to work with on this, I did give him a bunch of notes that he was good about working with, but it doesn't tie into Season 10. James is a storyteller, he knows these characters, but he's new to comics, so he was very cool about working with us to make it best work as a comic, and he's been very respectful of the artist. He's had a couple notes to pass on to the artist but he's being really cool and collaborative about it. I gave him script notes, and he was great about it, but I'm not personally altering a word of dialogue, beyond the stuff that he changed at my suggestion. Before he wrote the script, we'd talked about setting it in Season 10, but felt like it made more sense as its own thing, and since it didn't in any way come out of the writers summit this spring, it didn't make sense to make it a part of Season 10 in a number of ways.
BF: Gotcha. So James wife Jasmine was the inspiration for the love interest, were you aware of this trivia tidbit?
SA: Yeah, that was part of the initial conversation, and the artist was provided a lot of reference to get her right. This isn't the story of James and Jasmine's life together—it's just a sweet little story with some crazy action and a really nice view of Spike. Some people will be unhappy because how can Spike have a love interest in Season 7, when he loves Buffy. But this isn't Romeo and Juliet—in that it's not an epic love story. This is a beautiful, personal little story where we get into Spike's head in a nice, intimate, though small way. The story covers a little more than 24 hours of Spike's life, and just gives him this great moment to get the hell out of Sunnydale and get in touch with himself.
BF: Were you shocked that James even wanted to bring the idea of another girl in Spike's life? That seems bold since it's in the middle of Spike's full-on Buffy conquest.
SA: It is a little bold, and some people won't like that aspect of it. But I'm excited for people to see it, to read it. I'm glad to work with James again, and hopefully we'll do another one. We did something short a long time ago, and it maybe notoriously didn't go well, but I hope he agrees with me that this has gone pretty great.
And there you have it! Thanks so much Scott for clearing any fog and getting us all even more excited for Spike: Into the Light!